The global smart coatings market size was valued at USD 4.92 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach USD 18.74 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 18.2% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Smart coatings are extraordinary films that sense and respond to the environment and other external stimuli. Smart coatings are widely adopted by end-users owing to the development of new technologies that enhance the functionalities of coatings. Recent developments such as conductive materials, nanotechnologies, self-healing, self-assembling systems, and micro-encapsulation increase the protective properties of coatings. Smart coatings are gaining popularity owing to their increasing usage for protective and decorative purposes. The healthcare sector widely adopts smart antimicrobial coatings as they prevent the growth of pathogens on commonly used/touched surfaces. Smart coatings are more expensive than functional ones, but their excellent protection raises market demand.
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Growing Demand in End-User Industries
Smart coatings are widely adopted by various industries owing to their properties. They are used in automotive, marine, construction, agriculture, aerospace and defense, IT, healthcare, and other industries. Increasing safety and hygiene awareness and government measures to avoid HAIs (Healthcare Associated Infections) have boosted demand for smart coatings in healthcare. It occurs in hospitals, dialysis centers, outpatient care, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term care facilities (rehabilitation centers, nursing homes). HAIs affect about 2 million people, and 90,000 people die globally every year. They also increase the financial burden of patients with prolonged hospital stays and affect all age groups. Smart antimicrobial coatings are widely adopted in the healthcare industry due to their characteristics. They are used on surfaces to inhibit the growth of pathogens. These coatings also increase the durability of surfaces, and their aesthetic appearance protects them from corrosion.
Smart coatings are also widely adopted in the automotive industry, constituting a significant part of every country’s GDP. The capacity of smart coatings to shield vehicles from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation, sulfuric acid rain, and extreme weather is driving up demand for these coatings in the automobile sector. In the automotive industry, coatings are applied on the surfaces of vehicles. Vehicle bodies are made of galvanized steel that requires coatings to prevent scratch and corrosion.
Superior Properties of Smart Coatings
Advancements in the coatings industry have been influenced by the need for less volatile organic content and a reduction in petroleum products used to manufacture coatings. Water-borne, powder-based, UV-cured, and other high-solid coatings have witnessed significant growth in the past. Conventionally, these coatings have either decorative or protective characteristics. Significant research has been executed to understand the properties of coating formulation, property enhancement, longevity, and durability. Incorporating nanotechnology into smart coatings has been the subject of significant research and development over the past several years. Smart coatings detect environmental changes, interact, and respond to changes while maintaining compositional veracity. Smart coatings react to light, pH, pressure, temperature, and polarity. Such properties drive market growth.
High Cost of Smart Coatings
Raw materials used to manufacture smart coatings are mostly inorganic chemicals derived from crude oil. They can be categorized into four broad segments: resins, pigments, solvents, and additives. Therefore, the price of smart coatings depends on the cost of crude oil. In 2014, the average oil price was USD 98.95 per barrel, which fell to USD 43.79 per barrel in 2016. In 2020, it rebounded to USD 63.27 per barrel, resulting in the inflation of raw material prices 2020. The use of smart coatings is not as widespread as that of other types of coatings because of the higher expense of smart coatings. The price of smart coatings is significantly higher than the price of other types of functional coatings in Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa. Smart coatings are useful for specialized purposes but too expensive for developing and under-developed countries to utilize daily.
Corrosion Indication and Prevention
Corrosion is a significant problem in the automotive, construction, marine, agriculture, and military sectors. It can cause catastrophic failures in piping and tubing. Coatings manufacturers have developed techniques that can detect and prevent corrosion. pH and other electrochemical changes are associated with localized corrosion, and electrochemically responsive materials can control corrosion. The NASA Kennedy Space Center developed a controlled-release system that can help in sensing corrosion using microcapsules. Under primary conditions, the microcapsule wall breaks down and releases its contents, corresponding to the pH conditions at the cathodic site of corrosion.
Inhibitors that are enclosed in smart coatings will speed up reformulation. The essential element in creating intelligent coatings is a pH-sensitive microcapsule. Different kinds of coatings can integrate these microcapsules. Both liquid and powder coating applications can benefit from adding epoxies, acrylics, urethanes, and powder coatings. A smart coatings system based on pH-sensitive microcapsules detects corrosion, prevents corrosion, and self-healing. Different pH-sensitive microcapsules with various solvents are created through an interfacial polymerization reaction in an emulsion—such characteristics of smart coatings fuel market expansion.
The global smart coatings market is segmented by layer, function, and end-user.
By layer type, the global market is categorized into single-and multi-layer coatings.
Single-layer coatings segment accounts for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.5% during the forecast period. The single-layer coatings system provides primer and topcoats, thereby reducing VOC concentration. Different coating materials, such as epoxy, acrylate, urethane, polyaniline, and fluoropolymer, are used to prepare single-layer coatings by mixing or incorporating coatings. Single-layer coatings are widely used in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Multi-layer coatings promote, enhance, and maintain the protective films on substrates. A metal pre-treatment layer, which may include phosphates, chromates, and primer with inhibitors, is included in multi-layer coatings. Primer, topcoat, and pre-treatment and substrate coatings for the metal are all components of multi-layer coatings. They offer excellent adhesion, low moisture content, permeability, resistance, flexibility, impact and chemical resistance, durability, and cost-effectiveness.
By function, the global market is categorized into anti-corrosion, anti-fouling, antimicrobial, self-healing, self-cleaning, and anti-icing coatings.
Anti-corrosion segment accounts for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.1% during the forecast period. Recent developments in microencapsulation have made it possible for smart coatings to repair themselves if damaged. For example, zinc-infused coatings provide long-lasting protection from moisture. Smart anti-corrosion coatings have better properties than traditional anticorrosive coatings as they efficiently respond to environmental changes and heat and prevent further corrosion. In various end-user industries, corrosion of metals is a common issue. Coatings resistant to corrosion can be made from various substances, including zinc, graphene, and urea-formaldehyde. There is an increasing demand for anti-corrosion coatings in the aerospace and defense sectors. Countries across the globe continue to strengthen their defense as geopolitical tensions deepen despite the pandemic. Therefore, significant investments in the defense sector will increase the number of aircraft, tanks, and other military equipment, which will boost the demand for smart-anticorrosive coatings across developing and developed regions.
Self-cleaning coatings are based on nanotechnology. They help surfaces to remain clean and thereby reduce the demand for labor. The growing interest in nanotechnology is gaining significant attention due to its ability to provide cost-effective, lighter, and faster products with few raw materials. Self-cleaning coatings are centered on the property of being superhydrophobic.
By end-user, the global market is categorized into automotive, transportation, marine, construction, aerospace and defense, and healthcare.
The automotive segment accounts for the largest market share and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% during the forecast period. The adoption of smart coatings in the automobile manufacturing sector has grown considerably. The demand for smart coatings in the automotive industry is rising due to their ability to shield vehicles against acid rain, severe weather, and UV radiation. Smart coatings protect the vehicle from extreme weather conditions and protect against scratches and corrosion. Therefore, the demand for various functionalities will boost the demand for smart coatings during the forecast period.
By region, the global smart coatings market is categorized into Asia-Pacific, Europe, North America, and LAMEA.
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Asia-Pacific is the most significant global smart coatings market shareholder and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.8% over the forecast period. The expansion of the smart coatings market growth in the Asia-Pacific region is fueled by investments from outside the region. The region's thriving manufacturing sector is enabled by inexpensive labor and the region's easy access to raw materials. In addition, the rising per capita income and growing living standards will also support the growth of the smart coatings market in the region. In 2010, China sold 17.2 million vehicles, which reached 24.4 million in 2019. Therefore, a growing automotive industry is supporting the smart coatings market growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Smart anti-corrosion coatings are widely used in the automotive industry for corrosion and weather resistance. Apart from the automotive industry, various end-user industries, such as construction and consumer electronics, also witness growth in the region.
Europe is expected to grow at a CAGR of 20.1%, generating USD 4865 million during the forecast period. The market for smart coatings in the region will be driven majorly by the construction, automotive, and aerospace industries. The construction industry in Europe employs more than 20 million people, accounting for more than 9% of the European GDP. The construction sector in the Netherlands grew by 2.25% in October 2019 and is anticipated to grow further owing to high investments from the public and private sectors. Considering Denmark's status as a world leader in eco-innovation and sustainable practices, an acceleration of the country's infrastructure development is anticipated over the forecast period. The favorable macroeconomic environment also favors investment opportunities in the country. The European aerospace sector is a highly developed industry that manufactures high-class jets, helicopters, aero engines, civil aircraft, and unmanned aerial vehicles that use precision hand tools.
The smart coatings market share in North America is driven by the automotive, aerospace, defense, construction, consumer electronics, healthcare, marine, and other end-user industries. The automobile industry in the region is going through rapid transformations. The development of electric vehicle infrastructure and the demand for lightweight vehicles in the region are boosting the demand for smart coatings.
List of key smart coatings market suppliers profiled
|Market Size||USD in Billion By 2030|
|Forecast Units||Value (USD Million)|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
|Segments Covered||by Layer (Single Layer, Multi-Layer), End-User (Medical Field, Aerospace, Construction)|
|Geographies Covered||North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, LAME and Rest of the World|
|Key Companies Profiled/Vendors||3M Company, Bayer AG, The Dow Chemical Company, DuPont, Eastman Chemical, Royal DSM, Nippon Steel, Balcony Systems Solutions, Ltd., Debiotech SA, AnCatt, Inc, Research Frontiers, Inc., Nanoshell, New Energy Technologies, PPG Industries, BASF SE,|
|Key Market Opportunities||High Demand In Bulk Chemicals Sector Is Pushing Smart Coatings Market|